Symptoms of Keurig sickness (What are the signs of sickness from a moldy Keurig? + More information)

I love the convenience of owning a Keurig, as I can enjoy a cup of coffee whenever I want. However, maintaining it poorly can lead it to be moldy, which is a threat to your health. So, what are the symptoms of Keurig sickness?

Symptoms of Keurig sickness result from mold and bacteria in your Keurig. Its symptoms include headaches, acid reflux, nausea, coughing, wheezing, and sneezing, among other respiratory issues. However, you cannot see the above symptoms after having one cup of coffee that is exposed to mold but prolonged exposure.

I never knew one could get Keurig sickness till I was a victim. Though I used to descale my coffee machine after six months, I did not know failing to clean its removable components and drying them after use could cause mold too. However, when I started facing these never-ending symptoms, we eliminated all other causes and narrowed it down to my Keurig. In this article, I share extensively on Keurig sickness, how to remove mold from your Keurig, and how to prevent mold from getting into your Keurig. Keep reading!

Symptoms of Keurig sickness

A dirty Keurig might make you sick. However, not with just a day’s use, but if it stays dirty for long and you continue having coffee exposed to that bacteria. Common symptoms of Keurig sickness include acid reflux, running nose, upset stomach, and congestion. Other symptoms include nausea, skin rash, watery eyes, heartburn, headache, sneezing, sore throat, wheezing, and coughing. Failure to determine early that it is your Keurig making you sick could result in a more complicated sickness with your respiratory system.

Prolonged exposure to mold can be fatal to kids. It might trigger asthma, memory loss, reduced attention, and even anxiety. Furthermore, mold destroys bacteria in your gut, which can lead to reduced immunity and obesity. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that you do not take any food items or drinks exposed to mold. When it comes to your Keurig, clean it regularly.

How to remove mold from your Keurig

Symptoms of Keurig sickness
Moldy Keurig. Image source: Pinterest

To fully understand how to remove mold from your Keurig, you must know which components in your machine are susceptible to mold growth. The major culprit is the water reservoir which holds water and has elements like the charcoal filter, mesh screen, hose, lid, and filter holder. With this information, you should go with a cleaning method that sanitizes your machine and ensure it is completely mold-free.

The best cleaning method is by descaling your machine. If you have a Keurig cleaning kit, it comes with a cleaning solution and a descaling solution that you can use. However, you can opt for distilled vinegar and a descaling solution, as they will also yield great results. Before you begin with the cleaning process, ensure you have a mask on, mostly if you are allergic to mold or asthmatic.

  • The first step in thoroughly cleaning your machine to remove mold is to unplug it.
  • Disconnect the external tank from your Keurig, ensure it is empty, and remove the cartridge and filter holder.
  • With the brew completely free from any pod, pour 500 ml of distilled vinegar and 400 ml of the descaling solution into the tank. Add an equal amount of water and power on the Keurig after you’ve emptied the container attached to the drip tray.
  • Let the solution soak in the tank for 45 minutes, after which you should empty the tank and clean it thoroughly. You can use gentle soap water to further clean your water tank to ensure no residue of the descaling solution or vinegar is left in the tank.
  • Thoroughly wash the drip tray and filter screen using running tap water, dry them clean, and return them to their respective positions in the brewer.
  • Repeat a few cycles of the descaling process with water alone to ensure no foreign residue is left on your machine. And before you assemble your machine together, ensure you have wiped every component dry with a clean piece of cloth.

How to prevent mold from getting in your Keurig

What are the signs of sickness from a moldy Keurig? 
Cleaning Keurig. Image source: Pinterest

If you are on the lookout, mold should not even get in your Keurig in the first place. Here are some tips that you can use to prevent mold and any other bacteria from finding a home in your Keurig machine.

Change your charcoal filter regularly.

The charcoal filter is a potential component in your Keurig that mold can thrive in. This component is responsible for trapping impurities and grime from the water inside the tank. Manufacturers recommend changing your charcoal filter every two months to prevent bacteria and mold from growing in the filter. Furthermore, when you do not change your charcoal filter for long, the materials in the filter start breaking apart and tearing down. These particles can affect the performance and efficiency of your machine as most will end up in the water line and block the flow of water.

Ensure that the dry removable parts of the machine are always clean and dry.

Some of the removable parts in your Keurig machine include the K-cup holder, water tank, drip tray, and filter holder. Most of these parts are either in contact with your coffee, water, or both. The moisture from coffee and water is already favorable for bacteria and mold to build up in your Keurig coffee machine.

Therefore, you should always ensure that these parts are cleaned and dried every time you are done using the machine. However, you can do the cleaning once a week for the filter and water reservoir.

Regularly change the water in your Keurig.

If you do not have coffee regularly, the water stays in your Keurig’s water reservoir for days without being used. That period is enough for disinfectants like chlorine to disappear from your water. This leaves the environment unprotected and suitable for mold to grow. Therefore, the longest time water should sit in your reservoir should be four days. After that, even if your Keurig has a big tank, ensure you empty the water and replace it with fresh water. However, if time allows, you can change the water in your machine daily to get optimal-tasting coffee. Furthermore, before you refill the tank, always ensure you have wiped it dry clean with a cloth.

Descale your Keurig with vinegar.

Regularly descaling your machine prevents molds from growing in it. If you have a high-quality Keurig machine, the auto-descaling light will automatically be triggered to indicate that descaling is due. Vinegar eliminates mold from your machine and prevents mold from growing in it if left to sit in the Keurig for an hour or so. After cleaning your machine with vinegar, run brew cycles with water to ensure no vinegar residue is left in the machine.

Ensure that your coffee is stored properly.

Mold can grow in coffee that is not stored properly. When you brew mold coffee, the mold will end up being stuck in your Keurig. Therefore, ensure no moisture escapes into your coffee. And if you notice your coffee has gone bad and is moldy, do not go ahead and use it. Dispose of it, as this would get you sick.

Final thoughts

You should always ensure your Keurig is cleaned regularly to prevent any mold from growing in it. As seen above, consuming coffee that has been exposed to mold for a long time can pose serious health issues to you. And though the symptoms are not that severe in adults, they can really harm your young ones. If by any chance you suspect mold is already in your Keurig, use the above process to clean your Keurig and remove any mold in it thoroughly.

FAQ Section

Will a dirty Keurig make you sick?

Yes, a dirt Keurig will make you sick, as prolonged exposure to mold in your coffee can result in health complications ranging from simple allergic reactions to more serious issues with the respiratory.

How often should you clean your Keurig?

Manufacturers suggest you clean your Keurig with a cleaning and descaling solution every 3 to 6 months to ensure it is free from any bacteria. After cleaning your Keurig with these solutions, ensure you clean another round with gentle soapy water to ensure any residue of the descaling solution has been removed.

How do you know it’s mold in your Keurig?

A significant indicator that mold is in your Keurig is the change in the taste of your coffee. If your coffee does not taste as usual, then some bacteria or mold could be stuck in your Keurig. Furthermore, mold in your Keurig can reduce the performance of your machine and even cause it to shut off regularly. If you notice these symptoms, you might want to clean your Keurig just to be safe thoroughly.

Does coffee from a mold Keurig taste bad?

Coffee from a mold Keurig won’t necessarily taste bad but will have a different taste from your regular cup of coffee.

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